Choosing Kitchen Cabinets
Where To Start And What To Know
Choosing kitchen cabinets is one of the more involved decisions you’ll make for your kitchen, but it doesn’t have to be that difficult. There’s a sort of ‘technical nature’ associated with choosing cabinetry because it involves more than just picking door styles and stain color.
Because cabinets generally consume about half of the typical kitchen budget you’ll want to be sure you know what you’re getting for your money. To do that it makes sense to understand the differences in cabinet construction and materials and how those elements impact their quality and durability.
But don’t fret! We hope to demystify the process for you so that there’s still some fun in choosing your new kitchen cabinets.
Choosing Kitchen Cabinets – Where Do I Begin?
The following questions are aimed at clarifying your goals for how you want your kitchen to look and function so that you’ll ultimately be satisfied with the end result. Here are some things to consider
What don’t you like about your current kitchen cabinets?
Pin down exactly what it is you dislike about your current cabinet situation so that you’ll be specific when looking for solutions in your new cabinets.
Do you not have enough space or maybe it’s poorly allocated space (like the 3-ft deep upper cabinet that you can only reach the first 12 inches of)? Maybe your current kitchen cabinets are just the wrong style or perhaps they don’t have good organizational features.
The more specific you can be about what it is you want to have or change, the more focused you’ll be about targeting the right options from the myriad that are available with new kitchen cabinets
How long do you plan on staying in the home – are you updating for the purpose of reselling or do you plan on staying long term?
The answer to this question may determine the price you’re willing to pay as well as the level of customization and uniqueness and the quality of construction you want to build in. If you plan to stay in your current home indefinitely, you may want to spend more of your budget on durable construction and materials. On the other hand, if you’re a real estate investor interested in house flipping for a quick resale, you may want to limit your investment to a functional but more cost-effective cabinet style and construction.
What is the style of your home and your kitchen?
Your existing decor and style of home plays a role in the type of cabinetry to choose. The converse is also true too
— the style of cabinets you choose will influence the look and style of your kitchen.
Do you want to stay with the existing style or are you looking to change it? Period cabinets are appropriate for
classic antique homes where retaining the style of that era is desired. Updated European style cabinets work well in
a contemporary kitchen.
Regardless of which way you go, identifying the style you’re looking for will help narrow the focus on cabinet
choices and also provide some guidance to kitchen designers or cabinets makers you might work with.
Are you looking for environmentally friendly cabinet choices?
Your cabinet choices can be green too, with options like bamboo, reclaimed wood or wheat board. As the green movement continues to grow so do the choices for home products, including cabinetry. Sources for bamboo cabinets and other renewable and sustainable cabinet materials are also growing with the demand, making it easier to find and purchase these types of cabinets.
Do you need cabinets for an outdoor kitchen?
Yes, there are cabinets for outdoor kitchens too. Because of their outside location you’ll need to look at outdoor cabinet sources however. Although they serve the same purpose as their indoor counterparts outdoor kitchen cabinets need to be made from materials that can stand up to the elements.
What amount of storage space do you need? Is it greater than what you currently have?
Look at what you currently have on your countertops or in other places that you’d like to have storage space for inside the cabinets. Knowing how much “stuff” you need space for in your cabinets will help you get an understanding of the amount of cabinet space you’ll need. Remember that the fewer items you permanently ‘store’ on your countertops (like a cake mixer) the more working space you’ll have.
What is most important to you – aesthetic appeal or durability and quality construction?
Let’s face it; all of the advertisements and magazine articles we see depicting kitchen cabinets are usually high-end, expensive designs with lots of up-charge options. Achieving your dream kitchen is a worthy goal but be realistic. When there’s a limited budget it may not be possible to afford high quality materials and construction as well as exotic woods and finishes. Be wise about allocating your money between quality materials/construction and aesthetic items like door styles, finishes and ornamentation. Usually there’s a happy medium somewhere in between.
Do you really need completely new cabinets or will a face-lift suffice?
If your current cabinets are in good condition, you don’t need or want to change the current layout of your kitchen, and your not changing your counter top, then perhaps all you need is a refreshment of the current style.
Replacement cabinet doors and new cabinet hinges (Refacing) are available to provide a new look and style to your existing cabinets at a fraction of the cost of new cabinets. This is a great option if you are not changing your counter top. If you are looking to change your counter top, we recommend getting quotes for Refacing as well as new cabinetry. Most homeowners, who have gotten comparative quotes, have found it cost just as much, if not more, to Reface cabinetry versus new cabinetry. The overall cost savings is if the counter tops are not being changed out.
Replacing the cabinet knobs and pulls with new ones is another way to change the look of existing cabinets.